Tim Crane quotes

  • I do think that philosophy and science are very different intellectual enterprises, but that does not mean that when we get knowledge from philosophy it is a different kind of knowledge.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Philosophy #Mean #Thinking

  • I have a general moral: great philosophers may be great, but that is not a reason to follow them. Don't be a follower. Work it out for yourself.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Followers #May #Philosopher

  • There are no a priori obstacles to the scientific knowledge of the mind, but the scientific knowledge of the mind is not all the knowledge of the mind that there is. This is not an objection to science, it is just a distinction between different kinds of knowledge.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Mind #Different #Obstacles

  • Music is one of my big interests - I once had a rather fanciful ambition to be a singer - and of course music is philosophically fascinating. What it is for music to express emotion strikes me as one of the most difficult questions - it's hard to say what it precisely means, although it plainly does mean something. But whenever I have tried to say something about this, it has come out as either banal or pretentious or both.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Ambition #Mean #Emotion

  • Would it be better if religions were to disappear? I have no idea. Since I do not have any confidence in the association of truth with virtue, I am not sure if the world would be a better place if people believed more true things. But what is undeniable is that we cannot understand our own culture unless we recognise that it was formed, for good or bad, as a Christian culture. It's an illusion that we could somehow recover a human essence which is independent of the way it was created by culture.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Christian #Independent #People

  • Catholicism is the most philosophical branch of Christianity.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Philosophical #Branches #Christianity

  • I do think it's important to distinguish between intentionalism about consciousness and externalism about consciousness. Intentionalism says that consciousness is a form of intentionality - the representation of things to the mind. Externalism says that these things have to exist in order for them to be represented, or presented. These are different views.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Thinking #Views #Order

  • If I was going to sum up my approach to this whole mind issue, I would say this: the question is often formulated in a very bad way - for example, by posing the question in terms of stuff. It's better to start with the things we do know: for example, that there are people and other thinking creatures, who have mental capacities. Our next step should be to say something about these capacities.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Thinking #People #Mind

  • One odd thing about the current debate between religious people and atheists is that the participants don't seem to care that they entirely fail to communicate with the other side. They therefore have no account of why the religious or the atheists believe what they do, except that they are stupid or deluded. I think philosophers should try and make sense of their disputes with their opponents as far as possible without treating them as idiots. This applies to the religious participants in the debate as much as to the atheists.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Religious #Atheist #Stupid

  • Taken as hypotheses, religious claims do very badly. Yet the striking fact is that this does not worry Christians.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Christian #Religious #Taken

  • Wine is not discovered but made: it is an artifact that can be appraised that can be appraised aesthetically
    -- Tim Crane

    #Wine #Made #Artifacts

  • There's that great Irish joke: a man is lost in the countryside, stops a passer-by: 'how do I get to Dublin?'. The passer-by says 'well, I wouldn't start from here'. Rather than starting by talking in the abstract about materialism, dualism, 'material stuff' and things like that in regard to the mind, I would rather start from somewhere else.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Men #Mind #Materialism

  • The thing I think I have learned from Wittgenstein is the importance of not making things up: philosophers should not invent problems, and they should also be conscious of the risk of inventing pointless 'technical' machinery which do not offer real explanations, but often just re-state the known facts in a more complex way.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Real #Thinking #Risk

  • Since I don't believe in externalism, I don't think it can explain consciousness!
    -- Tim Crane

    #Believe #Thinking #Consciousness

  • I like to think of myself as a naturalist - insofar as that term is at all clear.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Thinking #Term #Naturalist

  • Even if we ignore the 'non-theoretical' knowledge which we acquire through experience (such as the knowledge of what something tastes like) and concentrate on theoretical knowledge, there is no good reason to think that physics can literally give the theory of everything. Here I want to be really pedantic. Although everything may be subject to physical law, not everything can be explained or described in physical terms. Physics has literally nothing to say about society, morality and the mind, for example - but of course these are parts of 'everything'.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Thinking #Giving #Mind

  • Problems come and go over time, and to understand why is a difficult historical task. If one wanted to find the origin of a problem, historical research and close attention to texts is what is needed, not unconstrained speculation about the 'pictures' that philosophers must be in the grip of.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Historical #Attention #Philosopher

  • Unlike art which contains a message, wine conveys nothing, it has no intellectual or cognitive content
    -- Tim Crane

    #Art #Wine #Intellectual

  • The wine itself has aesthetic value; but what it is for a wine to have aesthetic value cannot be understood without making reference to the experience to tasting it
    -- Tim Crane

    #Wine #Aesthetic #Understood

  • I do think that if you are trying to think empirically about the relationship between conscious experience and the underlying physical reality, wine provides an excellent practical example. Winemakers manipulate the chemicals they are dealing with in a way that is very sensitive to the kinds of effects it will have on the subjective experience of tasters - this is not an accident.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Wine #Reality #Thinking

  • I do not claim to have any developed or sophisticated views in political philosophy, but I think that one of the lessons of the last few hundred years of history is that the greatest threat to human prosperity and well-being is fanaticism and intolerance, even in the name of apparently laudable goals.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Philosophy #Thinking #Goal

  • I think you can have a science of the taste of chicken soup, or the taste of Chateau Latour. My point is only that knowing this science alone will not tell you what chicken soup or Chateau Latour tastes like.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Thinking

  • Naturalism is a methodological rather than a metaphysical view. It's because I am a naturalist, actually, that I am sceptical about physicalism.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Views #Metaphysical #Naturalist

  • Although a lot of my work on the mind has been rather abstract and philosophical, I'm interested in psychology and neuroscience and I don't think there are any principled distinctions between the kind of knowledge we get from science and the knowledge we get from philosophy.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Philosophy #Philosophical #Thinking

  • I'm not a militant atheist, just an atheist. In fact, in a largely atheist country like the UK I think it's a bit silly to be a militant atheist.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Country #Atheist #Silly

  • I had abandoned Catholicism, but even during my short militant atheist period I maintained an interest in western religious art and music.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Religious #Art #Atheist

  • Science will always raise philosophical questions like, is any scientific theory or model correct? How do we know? Are unobserved things real? etc. and it seems to me of great importance that these questions are not just left to scientists, but that there are thinkers who make it their business to think as clearly and slowly about these questions as it is possible to. Great scientists do not always make the best philosophers.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Real #Philosophical #Thinking

  • I think we atheists should tolerate the religious not because their views are just as valid as ours, but because experience has shown that we are unlikely to convert them, and so we have to find some way to live in peace with them, even if we find their views false or otherwise objectionable.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Religious #Atheist #Thinking

  • Many people like to think that their moral or political enemies are not just wicked or wrong - as if that were not enough - but stupid or idiotic too. We tend to find this attitude too in the contemporary religion debate. It might console those on each side of the debate to think of their opponents in these terms, but if we want to make real progress in understanding what is going on here, this approach cannot help.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Attitude #Real #Stupid

  • A lot of humanists treat religion as if it were simply a kind of rival cosmological hypothesis, and that this is all it is. My view is that to the extent that religions are cosmological hypotheses, this is not the only important thing about them, and we - atheists- will never get a proper understanding of what religion is if we focus too much on the cosmology.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Focus #Understanding #Important

  • A real naturalistic approach, I would claim, should take the reality of mental representation as a natural fact. A lot can be said about this fact, but there is no need to say it all in terms of necessary and/or sufficient conditions which are stated in non-intentional terms. The idea that naturalism might require that all the truths should be stated in a particular kind of vocabulary now strikes me as a very peculiar one.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Real #Kind #Natural

  • We have no proper understanding of the relationship between conscious thought and conscious sensation. The various forms of thought and sensation are underpinned by very different neural mechanisms; so how can the neural correlate of their conscious natures be the same? I don't think we are yet in a position to make such speculations. To make progress, we have to have a good conception of the phenomenology of consciousness, among other things.
    -- Tim Crane

    #Thinking #Understanding #Progress

  • One philosophically fascinating aspect of Catholicism is the very strange conception of reality it presents (the incarnation, the eucharist, judgement day etc.).
    -- Tim Crane

    #Reality #Judgement #Etc

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